Shaolin Kung-Fu Mystagogue (1976)

Directed by
A good name and a good time
Reviewed by Simon on 2023-12-21

First the elephant in the room:

Yes, that is the best name for anything, ever.

Shaolin Kung-Fu Mystagogue kind of rocks - it's like the standard Taiwanese Ming patriots vs evil Ching occupiers wuxia and a traitor in Shaolin Temple kung fu film got smashed together, with some elements reminiscent of more fantasy wuxia like Chu Yuan's contemporary Gu Long adaptations sprinkled in.

The film is enlivened by some creative weapons and dramatic camera work/editing, which make for some engaging and kinetic fights, and by Chang Yi's bad-ass sideburns.

The story barrels along with detail than narrative or thematic richness, with some characters being a little underdeveloped - Hsu Feng in particular doesn't have much to do for most of the running time. The film probably spends more time with the villains than with the nominal heroes.

Things keep happening though, and by and large they are interesting. By no means a masterpiece, but it is a good time!